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Liberal activist (Republican) judges

Timothy Kincaid

December 8th, 2011

In today’s political environment, judicial decisions are praised or derided based on outcome not on the quality of argument or the consistency with the constitution. Conservatives of the dittohead variety not only measure a decision by its outcome but then deride the judges who disagree with them as being liberal activist judges legislating from the bench. Republican politicians regularly appeal for votes claiming that they must be elected so more of these liberal activist judges are not appointed.

Well, the Proponents of Proposition 8 were back in court today over the issue of whether Judge Vaughn Walker was not qualified to rule on Proposition 8 because he is gay. Well, actually, they say that because he was in a gay relationship and may have wanted to marry and therefore should have recused himself. This made him a biased liberal activist judge seeking to legislate from the bench. Or, more specifically, a gay Republican liberal activist judge seeking to legislate from the bench.

(One must assume then – to be consistent – that they think that only atheists should judge on freedom of religion cases. But somehow I doubt it.)

Today’s argument is not really about Judge Walker’s decision. That was a different day in front of a different court.

No, today was dedicated to arguing that Judge Ware was a biased liberal activist judge seeking to legislate from the bench. Or, at least, he was when he found that Judge Walker was perfectly capable of judging in Perry v. Schwarzenegger. More specifically, a black Republican liberal activist judge seeking to legislate from the bench.

We submit to you that Judge Ware abused his discretion.

Because, after all, abusing discretion is what those liberal activist judges are all about. Well that didn’t seem to catch much traction with the panel of three judges, including Justice Smith.

But should the Ninth Circuit determine that Judge Ware did not abuse his discretion, you can expect the usual rhetoric. Oh yes, the Ninth is the most liberal of appellate courts and the most often overturned. Because they are liberal activist judges. And should that decision include Justice Randy Smith, then he will be the Mormon Republican liberal activist judge legislating from the bench.

Gosh, maybe those good conservative folk should stop voting for Republicans.



December 8th, 2011 | LINK

Wingnuts are careful to classify those who pass rulings they disagree with as “activist” judges. Not “liberal activist” or “conservative activist”. It would destroy their messaging.

I would argue that Judge Walker actually released an opinion more in line with true conservative principles (rather dead at the moment) than with true liberal principles.

December 9th, 2011 | LINK

I just keep thinking arguing in front of a panel of judges that a ruling should be reversed because of the personal life of the judge who made it must be one of the stupidest courtroom strategies a litigator could employ.

Then again, if it’s the only thing you’ve got, and in this case it is, I guess you have to go with it, huh?

Regan DuCasse
December 9th, 2011 | LINK

The proponents of 8 seemed to have completely omitted the fact that 8’s defenders had no facts, no credible witnesses, and no evidence to back up their case.
Judge Walker’s written decision WAS a matter of careful examination of what evidence, facts and witnesses were before him.

And there’s even LESS evidence, facts or witnesses to prove that Walker was unqualified, AND that Ware’s decision wasn’t also valid based on even less.

Seriously, how could 8’s defenders figure that ANY court could rule in their favor without the crucial elements in which to HAVE a case, let alone DEFEND it.

One would have to wonder when their CLAIMS are taken for what they are, and no court in the land really has the time and money to be so bothered with such baselessness.

Lightning Baltimore
December 10th, 2011 | LINK

Regan, you seem to have forgotten that the proponents of Prop 8, by their own claim, did not need to produce evidence. How could Judge Walker possibly rule based on evidence, then? He should’ve both thrown out the case for lack of evidence and recused himself for being a filthy homo.

[sarcasm now complete]

December 10th, 2011 | LINK

You can have a Mormon liberal activist judge or you can have a Mormon Republican activist judge but you can’t have a Mormon Republican Liberal activist judge. Just can’t…because they don’t exist.

I’ll wait until I hear N. Randy Smith’s verdict on the matter before I label him but where did you get the feeling Justice Smith was bending towards favoring Judge Ware’s opinion? Was it something he said?

Timothy Kincaid
December 13th, 2011 | LINK


ah yes the paradox… but they MUST exist. Because just like Ted Olson became a radical liberal overnight, so will Randy Smith. (as “radical liberal” is defined as “disagrees with Rush Limbaugh on something or other”)

From what I read – at Trial Tracker and in the press – Smith was mocking the Proponents when they argued that Walker should have recused and that Ware abused his discretion for not finding so. I think the line that got the room laughing was when the Cooper argued that a ten year relationship implies a desire to marry and Smith countered that a ten year relationship was a disincentive.

December 13th, 2011 | LINK

oh heck, I thought Limbaugh was becoming a liberal when he had that certain gay person play at his last wedding reception.

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